Love it or hate it, the Crying Jordan meme is now part of our culture. Few memes have had the impact of the Crying Jordan face, and it’s been used without discrimination across sports and entertainment as a catch-all for someone’s failure. Yes, there’s an argument to be made about it being overused nearly two years after it entered the lexicon of web culture hilarity, but this has also bred innovation. The NCAA title game between North Carolina and Villanova was expected and still funny. When Nate Diaz finished Conor McGregor at UFC 196, no one expected Ireland to turn into a giant Crying Jordan, and therein lies the hilarity. It’s almost as if the Crying Jordan will go on forever, and the AP photographer behind the original photo is completely fine with this.
This in-depth look by 2 Point Lead reveals the origin and eventual web culture takeover of the Crying Jordan meme through discussions with photographer Stephan Savoia, sports journalists, and even Crying Jordan “victim” Jay Williams. It adds a human element to this meme that has become mythical, and impossible to deny. The Crying Jordan is now almost as relevant in 2016 as Michael Jordan’s basketball career, and that’s coming from someone who grew up in Chicago in the 90’s.